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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

May 18, 1969: Lazio Bari 3-0

Updated: Jun 7

Slaughtered

 

Lazio demolish Bari and now Serie A is very, very close.




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far

 

The previous season Lazio had arrived 11th in Serie B. A rather dismal performance, so poor that at a certain point the Biancocelesti were close to the relegation zone. In the end they managed to stay in Serie B but just two points ahead of the five teams that finished on 36 and needed a playoff to determine who would join Novara and Potenza in Serie C (in the end Venezia and Messina were relegated).

 

The worst thing was the very low number of goals scored: just 27 in 40 games. Certainly not enough to have any chance of promotion. Manager Renato Gei had been sacked in February, substituted by faithful Bob Lovati.

 

Hence for the 1968-69 season there was a need for a new head coach and new forwards. Juan Carlos Lorenzo returned for his second stint at Lazio and a number of interesting players were signed: defender Mario Facco and midfielder Ferruccio Mazzola from Inter, forward Gian Piero Ghio from Avellino and three loans from Juventus: defender Guido Onor, goalkeeper Pietro Fioravanti and midfielder Elio Rinero

 

There was optimism for a return to Serie A.

 

Lazio had said goodbye to legendary keeper Idilio Cei (Palermo), Paolo Carosi (Catania) and Pierluigi Pagni (Spal on loan).

 

First, however, there was the Coppa Italia to play in September. Lazio was grouped with Roma, Bologna and Spal. The Biancocelesti lost the derby and drew the other two games 1-1. Roma came top and eventually won the Coppa Italia too.

 

The first six games in Serie B were characterised by poor performances away from home (a draw and two defeats) but big wins at home (4-1, 5-2, 4-0). A win at Mantua in the seventh game broke the negative spell away but then two home draws also broke the home record. Lazio however were in a good position, just one point behind leaders Genoa and Foggia. The 4-0 away win at Cesena allowed the Biancocelesti to reach the top of the table in the company of Brescia and Genoa. Game 12 saw the beginning of a two-team race that lasted the whole season. Brescia and Lazio were either first or second from then on to the end of the tournament. At the end of the first half of the campionato, and after losing at Reggio Emilia, Lazio were second together with Bari, one point behind Brescia.

 

On April 20 there was the clash with the Lombards who preceded Lazio by one point. The Biancocelesti won and overtook Brescia. The next game Lazio drew at Perugia and Brescia caught up again, but from then on, the Biancocelesti took the lead and now were four points ahead of Brescia and Bari. Today’s match was a great opportunity to widen the gap.

 

The match: Sunday May 18, 1969, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

 

Bari were in great form and they were accompanied by a large number of away supporters who caused chaos with clashes with both the Biancocelesti fans and the police.

 

But when the game began everything quietened down. After about 15 minutes of study Lazio started to press the Apulians who were forced to move back. Carlo Soldo, who was supposed to mark Mario Fara, found himself with basically little to do since the Bari centre forward played a long way away from the goal. In the 34th minute, Soldo stole a ball, one-two with Gian Piero Ghio, powerful shot, Lazio 1 Bari 0. Towards the end of the half, the Biancocelesti had numerous chances with Giuliano Fortunato, Giancarlo Morrone and Ghio but were unlucky.

 

In the 54th minute there was a corner for Lazio. Marcello Diomedi missed the ball completely, giving Morrone the time to stop and shoot, Biancocelesti ahead 2-0.

 

Bari reacted and shortly after Franco Galletti with a header went close to reducing the deficit. But in the 75th minute Lazio made it three. Splendid Morrone-Mazzola II one-two, the latter got into the right of the box, dribbled past Manilo Muccini, and scored.

 

Game over, Lazio now had a five point lead over second placed Brescia and six more than Reggiana and Bari. Only five games left.

 

Who played for Lazio

 

Substitutes: Fioravanti

Manager: Lorenzo

 

Who played for Bari

 

Spalazzi, Diomedi, A.Galli, Armellini, Vasini, Muccini, Correnti (64' Colautti), Galletti, Fara, Tentorio, Tonoli

Substitute: G.Colombo

Manager: Toneatto

 

Referee: Lo Bello

 

Goals: 34’ Soldo, 54’ Morrone, 75’ Mazzola II

 

What happened next

 

Serie A was obtained mathematically thanks to a 3-0 win against Lecco on June 8 and the certainty of winning the Serie B championship arrived a week later despite falling to Monza. As a consequence, the Biancocelesti would be playing the Mitropa Cup the following year.

 

It was a great season, Lazio were strong and had good players in every role. A mix of young talent and experience, well managed by Lorenzo. There was a lot of room for optimism for the 1960-70 season in Serie A.

 

The players with most appearances were Gian Piero Ghio and Ferruccio Mazzola (40) and Ghio was top scorer with 11 goals.


Lazio 1968-69

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie B

38

17

16

5

55

Coppa Italia

3

-

2

1

2

Total

41

17

18

6

57

Top five appearances (complete player statistics)

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

40

37

3

40

37

3

39

36

3

38

38

-

37

35

2

Top five goal scorers (complete player statistics)

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Gian Piero Ghio

11

10

1

Ferruccio Mazzola II

8

8

-

Giuliano Fortunato

8

8

-

7

6

1

6

6

-

Let's talk about Marcello Diomedi


Source Lazio Wiki

Marcello Diomedi was born on December 1, 1942, in Calangianus near Sassari in Sardinia. He started his career with Sangiorgese where he played from 1961 to 1964. In 1964 he signed for Ternana and it was a great season for him as he won the prize for best player. In 1965 he moved to Florence and stayed for two years. In 1965-66 Fiorentina won a Coppa Italia and a Mitropa Cup.

 

In 1967 he went south and signed for Bari. He stayed there until 1972, contributing to their return to Serie A in 1968-69 and to them remaining in the top tier the year after. Curiously, on April 12, 1970, when Cagliari were facing Bari in the decisive match for the scudetto, he was the only Sardinian native on the pitch, playing however for the other side.

 

In May 1970 he was loaned to Lazio for the Anglo Italian Cup. This tournament was, obviously, a European football competition between English and Italian clubs (following in the footsteps of the Anglo Italian League Cup). It ran from 1970 to 1973 and then again, as a semi-professional tournament, from 1976 to 1986. Lazio played in this competition twice (1970 and 1972).

 

There were three groups of four teams, two English and two Italian. The teams from the same nation did not face each other. The final standings were determined by the Italian and English teams that had earned more points.

 

The Biancocelesti were paired with Fiorentina, Sunderland and Wolverhampton. Lazio lost the two away games and won the two home ones.

 

He played three games for Lazio, a friendly against Doncaster Rovers, and the two games against Sunderland. At the end of this experience, he went back to Bari. He stayed in Apulia for another two years before signing for Fermana in Serie D in 1972. His last two years of active football were played with Alghero in the fourth tier.

 

After he stopped his professional career he continued playing football for fun and was involved with Unitalsi, the volunteer association that works to accompany people with difficulties of various nature to Lourdes.

 

He died on September 25 2021 in Jesi.


Lazio Career


Season

Anglo Italian Cup

1969-70

2

Sources








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